• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How far did attitudes towards conscientious objectors change between WW1 and WW2?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How far did attitudes towards conscientious objectors change between WW1 and WW2? At the beginning of WW1, signing up for the army was voluntary, however, in 1916 it was made law that all men were required to join in the war effort. This was due to the lack of men volunteering and the rate of which men were being killed in the war. However, there were some people who didn't want to fight, they were called conscientious objectors. There were various reasons why men and women became conscientious objectors. Some of the reasons included: religion, such as Quakers, pacifists, socialists, emotional experience and medical reasons. Government attitudes could be seen to have changes between WW1 and WW2. Although people were given the right to be a conscientious objector in the 1916 conscription Act due to pressure from the Quaker MP's, in practise they were very unsympathetic. In WW1 people who refused to work were severely punished. ...read more.

Middle

Although men were given exemption they were expected to find other ways in which they could help with war effort such as working in a munitions factory. Men who refused to have anything to do with the war effort were called absolutists. If the Military Tribunal found no reason for you to be given exemption you would then be punished. In WW2 government attitudes were very different. Neville Chamberlain, the Prime Minister, was sympathetic and respected conscientious objectors' and saw them as 'scruples'. One reason to why he felt like this could be because it would be seen as hypocritical if he were to force people to do things they did not want to do. This was one of his primary reasons for fighting the war against Adolph Hitler. The number of conscientious objectors had increased from WW1. People saw and knew the horrors from WW1 and did not want to experience them again. ...read more.

Conclusion

People were opposed to conscientious objectors because they saw them as cowards. People were feeling patriotic so thought it an insult that people did not want to fight for their country. Mothers and wives that had their sons and husbands at war were angry that those who did not want to fight were safe. In conclusion, I believe that attitudes towards the conscientious objectors did change. However, the only dramatic change in attitudes came from the government. They were sympathetic and respectful and a lot more people were given exemption than in WW1. The fact that the Prime Minister himself said he saw them as scruples shows how much the attitude had changed. On the other hand, the attitudes towards conscientious objectors could be seen to not have changed much as the public were still very hostile towards them as they had been in WW1. So overall I do not think attitudes towards conscientious objectors had changed that far from WW1 because although the government were very sympathetic the public out numbers those in parliament and the public were still very much against conscientious objectors'. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Britain 1905-1951 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. The Different Roles of Women in WW1

    It was dangerous and unhealthy work. Working on farms was a hard, physical and dirty job. 8. Is it fair that women munition workers receive so much attention compared to other women home front workers? Munitionettes produced 80% of the weapons and shells used by the British Army and daily

  2. To what ways and to what extent did the lives of the British people ...

    In May 1943 6 311 000 were working in industry or the armed services and in December 1943 1.5 million women workers were in the engineering industry, 30% of the total workforce" showing that women working did grow more popular as time passed.

  1. World War 1

    The smell in the trenches was absolutely disgusting. It was horrible! It was a mixture of mud, latrine, buried corpses, stale human sweat and rotting sandbags. Rats, lice, frogs and worse carry disease throughout. Rats are infested by the millions in the trenches. Both the black and brown are feared, but the brown is more feared.

  2. F Bommber Command decisive in bringing about victrory for Britan WW2

    The Avro Lancaster was known as an double functional aircraft as it could reach speeds of 266 mph and had a bomb load of 14000lb, which was the largest out of any other bomber on the British or German side.

  1. History Assignment 2

    The 'Treasury Agreement' was the rule that women worker were to be paid the same as men. However, women were only allowed to take over men's work for; the duration of the war or until sufficient male labour should again be available.

  2. World war 1

    The tactics used during the war were poor and lots of men died, however no one gained land. The equipment was also unsuccessful which meant that both sides could survive from enemy attacks. Another major factor was the low self-esteem of soldiers; as time went on they know neither side could win or break through the enemy's line.

  1. Key Worldwide Conflicts in WW1

    It was not known until much later that they had been sunk by mines. * On 18th April, 1915, armies attempted to land on the Gallipoli peninsula by attacking various bays. The Turks were expecting an attack, and thousands of the Allied troops were killed before reaching the shore.

  2. Compare two sources about work carried out by women during WW1

    Furthermore source A is limited as evidence of women workers in ww1 because it has a specific agenda, which is to encourage women to join the munitions work and over exaggerated. Source B is limited as evidence of the work carried out by women during the First World War because

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work